12-23-2007, 10:38 AM
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A nice fish only marine tank will be much less than a "proper" planted tank. Basically a good planted tank has almost the same costs and amount of equipment as a true reef tank.
A good FO tank should only need,
A nice sized tank,
regular fluorescent lights,
and a little bit of aragonite sand.
Add a touch of live rock just to decorate with if wanted. You could fill the tank with a lot of live rock to make it a FOWLR, this will provide and even more stable environment by producing a lot more bacteria.
Do understand that you WILL NOT be able to add any corals to that set up. If you ever want to turn it into a reef tank you will spend a lot more money doing the upgrades.
A quality planted tank will need.
A good tank,
a substrate heater (often very expensive ribbon heaters that are imported
from Germany. Mine was $120 for a 20g)
A proper mix of substrates made of soils and clays. Look for flourite or
laterite in the name. Probably set you back about $200 or more for a
A couple of good cannister filters. One full of carbon (this can get
expensive each month to refill) and another set up with the regular
media. You don't want any particles floating in the tank.
High wattage light. Look for metal halides or at minimum T5's Expect a
minimum of $500.
CO2 additives. This means a $100 Co2 can, regulator, tubing, diffusers,
and PH monitor/solenoid controller.
Might as well get a ReefKeeperII controller to control temp, PH and time
That's just the beginning of a nice planted tank.